Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tick, tock, tick, tock…come on clock, is it not WHW time yet?

It’s nearly here and I CAN believe it’s going to happen!

After the Fling I wondered if the fatigue would come back to haunt me, but I was fairly sensible and kept my training easy for a fortnight.  Then Pauline and I went up to the Great Glen Way and covered 50 miles over four days with the longest run being the 19 miles from Drumnadrochit to Inverness. A cracking bit of quality running. The following weekend we were back up to Skye for Ally K’s presentation evening and although we didn’t cover mega miles we had some quality hill work and a bit of a raised heat rate crossing this bridge!

A last long run of 23miles locally over the bridge to Crammond and back on the 31st May 

then it was time to taper, apart from a cracker of a run at the Isle of Skye Half Marathon on the 14th June.  We’ve been going up for it since 1993 and it’s very special for me and the only Half I do these days. In 2005 it was my 100th half marathon and also my first race back after another health problem, it was seven weeks after having a brain haemorrhage, it was important then to confirm I was recovering and getting back to normal. Last year’s Skye Half was another tough one confirming I was alive and fighting (last year's report) it was the hardest race I’ve ran. So I think remembering how I was twelve months ago really helped make this year easy.  I bounced along feeling comfortable and strong, just running to feel, never looking at my watch, holding myself back.  The mile markers came in too quickly, it was going to be over too soon, the sun was out, it was lovely and warm, perfect conditions.  The last long climb is gradual to start with but there’s a steep kick at the end where after around nine miles you look up and the ground meets the sky with little silhouettes of runners on the horizon. I smiled when I saw the hill in front; it was no fight, sheer pleasure. I had to control my descent, I really wanted to let go and give it some welly but I needed my quads in tip top condition for the following weekend, so I behaved and scampered down to Portree at a sensible pace.  Great to see wee Fee McDee standing at the corner at Howdens, she ran a few yards with me and told me I looked brilliant, I certainly felt it, I could’ve went round again. (In reality it was never going to happen but I loved the notion) It was an excellent weekend catching up with friends we only see in Skye.
photo from Sarah Attwood
Ally K gave me back the bright yellow baseball cap I lent him during his epic run. I want to wear it during the WHW taking inspiration from him and what he has achieved.  Ally, I hope you don’t mind me saying this but you are my hero.  Around three years ago Ally gave up the fags and ran the Skye Half for a bet, then last year completed three ultras, the Lochalsh Dirty 30, the Highland Fling and covered 84 miles at Glenmore 24 before taking on his challenge of running round Skye and raising over £32,000 for Cancer Research this April.  Afterwards he modestly said it wasn’t him, just the support he was lucky to have. It only takes a wee pebble to cause the ripples in a pond, Ally, you are a bonny wee pebble with the weight of a ruddy big breezeblock with a tsunami of support, be proud of yourself and what you've achieved.

I will be watching this tomorrow, maybe more than once. Ally K Runs Skye Documentry

I’ve had a bit of a wee panic, my lower back has decided to play up, it niggles away most of the time but on Tuesday, it was really tight and sore and I struggled to reach my feet, I was relieved when I went for a wee three miler in the evening, although sore to start with it did loosen off a bit, and yesterday and today it has improved, so I’m not worrying about it, I won’t have to reach my feet during the race, that’s what my support team are for! No doubt something else will hurt more over the weekend anyway.

I have signed up for the princely sum of £3 for Si Entries to update my facebook when I swipe my chip through the checkpoint doofer and you can also follow the race here

Rampers and Rabbit the Bruce
This pair of roving reporters will also update my facebook and pass on messages as long as they can get a signal. I’ve been told to be nice to my support or they will update my status with bare bottom selfies and my undying love for Harry Styles! No diva strops for me then!

I have had great support since I first posted about my devastating diagnosis last March and holding on to my goal of running the WHW race for tenth time has helped keep my head up. But you guys have really made a difference to me, and I know you will be with me over the weekend. I couldn’t have gone through what I have without you, the practical help for me and my family, the wee gifts, the prayers, vibes and words of love and support. So just to say the words Thank You doesn’t express my gratitude, but I’m hoping that picking up my Goblet in your honour will do it.